On 24 January a ship called “Bana” left the Turkish port of Mersin. Four days later, it disappeared from the Tracking Sites, because it had turned off its Transponder. It never arrived at the originally stated destination in Tunisia. Instead, it reappeared in the port of Tripoli on 29 January, which “BBC Africa Eye” was able to prove on the basis of satellite images.
The “Bana” was escorted by a military frigate, which is only used by the Turkish navy. The ship was loaded with anti-aircraft guns, armoured vehicles and cannons. This shows a video from the hold that was posted on Twitter on January 30. The “BBC” was also able to prove on the basis of other pictures that this actually comes from the “Bana”.
Just days after the Berlin peace conference
The trip came only days after a long-prepared peace conference in Berlin, which was to prove to be a failure days later. The meeting of several heads of State on 19 January had been aimed at stopping arms transfers to Libya. Otherwise, as the participants apparently agreed, the war could not be stopped. Among the signatories of the agreed embargo was the Turkish President Erdogan.
After the “Bana” had left Tripoli, she set course for Genoa. Five sailors who were on board during the voyage testified in Italy that weapons had actually been on board. Pictures taken by the Italian authorities confirm this. In the hold, clear traces of the vehicles that had previously been parked there can be seen.
The Turkish government did not respond to a request from the BBC. In addition to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates did not adhere to the agreed Embargo.
UN special envoy Ghassan Salamé resigned in March 2020 in view of the open violations of a newly agreed Embargo.